Sunday, May 27, 2012

Snow Falling on Sneakers

Last week we took a friend on our package tour of Banff and Lake Louise (meals included). The calendar said Spring but the landscape still said Winter. 

That's OK with me. I love taking photos of snow on the mountains.

Especially when the sun hits it just right.

The ice on Lake Louise was finally starting to melt:

Even if you come home with wet sneakers, it's never a bad day when you get pictures like these.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day in Banff

I wish I loved hiking. I love the payoff: the incredible views, the occasional wildlife, the silence. But I can't imagine any human (or mountain goat) loving the effort it takes to get there. Still, I agreed to go on a hike on Mother's Day with my husband and our friend, Steve because I want to experience everything Canada has to offer before our short time here is over. 

I picked a trail up Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park. The first time we tackled this hike I absolutely hated it. There are several steep inclines which left me struggling to breathe. Since then, my doctor suggested I may have "exercise induced asthma." Never heard of it- but I was prescribed an inhaler which I used right before heading up the dirt path on Sunday. It helped! So the payoff for everyone that day was gorgeous weather, unbelievable views of Banff and a Mom who didn't act like a mutha. Yay!

And now your payoff for reading here: 

We made a few stops during the drive home.

Two Jack Lake:

Lake Minnewanka:

Three Sisters- three peaks named Big Sister (Faith), Middle Sister (Charity) and Little Sister (Hope). :

Bonus. We saw more sheep during the drive to Banff.

"OMG, what a snob! He didn't even say 'hi!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Really Real Housewives of Calgary

We do laundry. We raise children. We make sure there's food in the frig.  We don't take limos to the spa or organize parties that cost more than my wedding. We are wives who actually manage households. We are the Really Real Housewives of Calgary.

Our six husbands work together at jobs that require transfers all over the world. My situation is unusual in that my husband's first and only international assignment has been this one. The other Really Real Housewives have lived in countries I've only seen on my multi-colored globe. My family, on the other hand, has lived in four different cities in the southern US before moving to this exotic land the locals call "Canada."

I'm beginning to understand the language and the currency. When a native asks if I have my "toque" I no longer stare back, frightened. I merely show it to them and put it on my head. (Relax-it's a hat!). If a cashier should ask for another "looney," I understand that they mean a dollar coin. I'm navigating my way through this strange land and now have American friends to share the journey with me.

The Really Real Housewives of Calgary moved here at different times but we've all been here less than two years. We share the names of great places to shop or eat and offer suggestions for day trips on the weekends. It's nice to finally run in a circle of women who understand my life.

We are the women behind the men (making rabbit ears!). Their careers come first. Transfers come suddenly and often require our husbands be on the new job within a couple of weeks. We wives get left behind to deal with the house and the children. We are constantly starting over and have sacrificed everything to be with the men we love.

When the Really Real Housewives of Calgary get together and a topic comes up like paying international income tax or keeping in touch with children who live in another country, no long dialogue about how that came to be or how scary this life is sometimes is necessary. They already know. It's nice to just cut to the chase.

And a bonus that comes with being a Really Real Housewife is that in all the time I've known these women, no one has ever flipped a table.